Warning, there are spoilers in my rant below.
I went to see Indiana Jones 4 last week. It’s exactly what you should expect from George Lucas these days.
It’s amazing how a movie can be good and stupid at the same time.
The movie starts out well enough. Indy is captured, forced by some Russians to look for something mysterious, fights his way out, etc.
Then he finds himself in the middle of nowhere, and a town is nearby. So he takes off for the town. Only to find that it’s a nuclear test site. Then the sirens go off.
Up to this point, it’s been pretty classic Indy. It’s good. Then comes the stupid part.
He gets in a lead-lined fridge. Now this might be his best bet, but most likely you would not survive in such a small lead-lined box.
Then the fridge gets tossed all over the landscape. And Indy makes it out without a scratch.
One word: stupid.
Now the gag could have been saved pretty easily – let’s say there’s a bomb shelter in the backyard. Surely the government did some tests that included different backyard bomb shelters to test their effectiveness. It could have even been made comedic by having some monkeys in there or something. Maybe a video camera and switching to a monitoring station where somebody notices Indy in with the monkeys.
But here’s the thing: Lucas is so fascinated with technology that he’d rather consider a solution that included a fridge flying through the air and bouncing all over the place. Easy enough effect shot for the ILM’ers.
The movie was full of stupid stuff like that. As well as other dumb stuff. For instance:
Reminiscing over dear ol’ dad and Marcus Brody. Move on!
After being chased by KGB agents, Indy spends some leisurely time at his place translating a bunch of cryptic symbols. Surely the KGB would have thought to check his house?
The romance was really flat. I mean, Anakin/Padme flat. You got the feeling that Lucas directed some of it, it was so dry.
Don’t even get me started on the jungle chase scene.
Now the general idea of the movie wasn’t so bad. In fact, it had a lot of potential. A lot of people have complained about the ending, but I didn’t mind that so much. I think this movie was lost in the little moments. It moved so fast, there wasn’t much room for characters to interact, unless it was in the middle of another action moment.
All in all it was still entertaining. But stupid at the same time. Not awful, but not great.
So now Indy 4 is my new yardstick. Every movie I see from now on will either be “better than Indy 4″ or “dumber than Indy 4.” It actually works pretty well to have a mediocre film as a yardstick.